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Sniglets: Imaginative Words

Rich Hall is one of the most underrated humorists of our age. His humor is wry, dry, and witty in the original sense of the word. He also has a sure sense of the English language, as well as the American lifestyle. While working on the TV comedy series, Not Necessarily the News (1986-88), he began reading Sniglets, "words that should appear in dictionaries, but don't." The feature was so popular that he wrote a book of Sniglets that sold over 2 million copies. Several years later, the Washington Post announced a contest for the best of what are, in fact, Sniglets. That year people across the world sent in their examples of words that are not in dictionaries but should be. This page contains some examples of both.

Home-Grown Sniglets (Keep 'em coming!)
  • NEW! Ice-slug n. The last piece of ice remaining at the bottom of a paper cup that just won't come out. (Thank you, Sarol Keller)
  • NEW! Snoralator n. An easier word to pronounce and remember than CPAP, a breathing devide that prevents snoring and sleep apnea. (Thank you, Abigail Beard)
  • NEW! Hydrocondiment n. The watery discharge that accumulates in the mustard or ketchup bottle that comes out first and makes your bread all wet. (Thank you, Sean Salinas)
  • NEW! Lemonator n. A caustic comment that sours an otherwise pleasant conversation. (Thank you, Dr. Goodword)
  • Typo-blindness n. The inability to recognize a typo in your e-mail until you've pushed the "Send" button. (Thank you, Mark Eckman)
  • Confuseless adj. Feeling confused and useless due to pain medication or insomnia. (Thank you, Shannon Hutcheson)
  • Napture n. A refreshing, fantastic nap. Especially if you are someone with chronic pain or illness (we often suffer with severe insomnia). (Thank you, Shannon Hutcheson)
  • Cinemuck n. The combination of popcorn, candy, and soda pop on movie theater floors that makes them sticky. (Thank you, Sandy Bass)
  • Parkrastinate n. The inability to decide which parking space to choose in a near empty parking lot. (Thank you, Donna Bruno)
  • Poufulation n. When a cat gets scared and puff out their tails. (Thank you, Donna Bruno)
  • Rectodigitation n. A prostate exam. (Thank you, Donna Bruno)
  • Dogdew (dawg-doo) n. The moisture on a dog's nose. (Thank you, Michelle Defillipis)
  • Wheelberg (wheel-burg) n. A large lump of ice that builds up behind a car wheel when it is driven through snow. (Thank you, Rich)
  • Bi-sacksual (bye-sack-shu-ul) adj. Able to accept either a paper or plastic sack for groceries at the supermarket without any sense of guilt. (Thank you, Susan Lister)
  • Ambaguous (am-bag-you-us) adj. Unable to decide which bag to take on a trip. Women are sometimes ambaguous about which purse goes better with which dress.
  • Typelepsy (type-uh-lep-si) n. Having an error rate that exceeds your typing speed. (Thank you, Lin Daniel)
  • Namenesia (nay-muh-knee-zhuh) n. Remember everything about a person except their name. (Thank you, Lin Daniel)
  • Smellucination (smel-loo-suh-ney-shuhn) n. Thinking you smell something you really don't. (Thank you, Shelli Jones)
  • Transtexting n. Sending a text to the wrong person on your iPhone while texting with two people at the same time. (Thank you, Elisa Quinzi)
  • Spontanudity (spon-tuh-noo-di-tee) n. A quick or rash decision to remove clothing, usually in public and usually after imbibing a large amount of alcohol. (Thank you, Liza Serna—We hope it didn't occur to you from experience!)
  • Kidoozled (ki-doo-zuld) adj. Used to describe parents who erroneously assume that other people find the pranks of their offspring as charming as they do. (Thank you, Marci Ytterberg)
  • Copalysis (kahp-al-uh-sis) n. Determining that a police car is lurking somewhere and automatically slowing your car down. (Thank you, Jim Geisendorfer).
  • Fizzlibrium (fiz-lib-ri-um) n. The point at which a warm soda or soft drink may be poured over ice in a glass without letting the fizz overflow before the glass is filled. (Thank you, Larry Amick).
  • Naval Coffee (nay-vul kaw-fee) n. Coffee so strong it'll float an anchor. (Thank you, Mike Murphy)
  • Entremanure: ahN-truh-mu-nyur n. A high-flyer dealer in fertilizer. (Thank you, Russ Howard)
  • Anachronym (an-ak-ruh-nim) n. Worn-out, outdated abbreviations. (Thank you, Brian DeLuca)
  • Bicokleptomaniac (bi-ko-klep-tu-may-ni-æk) n. A person who borrows a cigarette lighter and then puts it in his own pocket. (Thank you, Mark Crowley)
  • Kisslap (kis-læp) n. When your little sibling kisses you and immediately slaps you afterwards. (Thank you, Ella Firestone. Did you tell your little brother/sister that it isn't nice?)
  • Fenility (fuh-nil-uh-tee) n. The tendency of old folks to love cats. (Thank you, Jonathan D'souza in India)
  • Chorecast (chor-cæst) n. A particularly bad weather forecast that implies shoveling or scraping ice from a windshield. (Thank you, Jason Pyrdol)
  • Trudge Sunday (truj-sun-day) np. A weekend day spent shoveling instead of relaxing (usually the result of a chorecast). (Thank you, Jason Pyrdol)
  • Sgum (sgum) n. That disgusting white, foamy residue which forms in the corner of your mouth upon chewing gum well past its flavor threshold. (Thank you, Matt Carey)
  • Hydrofrigiblast (hai-dro-fri-juh-blæst) n. The sudden onset of arctic water flowing through your showerhead when Mom decides to engage the hot water cycle on the washer and/or dishwasher. This condition invariably happens moments after you have reached a relaxing temperature in your shower. Antonym: Thermalophobia. (Thank you, Matt Carey)
  • Milkanex (milk-a-necks) n. The ring around the spout of a gallon of milk that usually sits around on a counter top after being twisted off. (Thank you, Isabel Caldwell)
  • Ricrispeater (Rai-cris-pee-dur) n. A human being addicted to homemade junk food, especially Rice Krispie Treats. (Thank you, Isabel Caldwell)
  • Swinter (swin-tur) n. A snowfall in summer. (Thank you, Christian Bird)
  • Strainacharge (stray-nuh-chahrj) n. The annoyance of when you can't connect your charger to your phone. (Thank you, Brad)
  • Sharpict (shahr-pict) n. A person addicted to smelling Sharpies. (Thank you, Brad)
  • Embarrassmentosis (em-bæ-ris-men-toe-sis) n. The fear of being embarrassed. (Thank you, Whitney)
New Sniglets
  • Blamestorm (blaym-storm) v. To sit around in a group discussing who is responsible for the latest failure.
  • Seagull Manager (see-guhl mæn-ij-er) n. A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
  • Assmosis (aes-mo-sis) n. Success and advancement achieved by kissing up to the boss rather than working.
  • Cube Farm (kyub-fahrm) np. An office filled with cubicles.
  • Prairie-dog (pre-ree-dawg) v. To pop your head up over the wall of your cubicle to see what is going on in other cubicles.
  • Crop Dust (krahp duhst) v. To surreptitiously pass gas while walking through a Cube Farm.
  • Mouse Potato (maus-puh-tay-duh) n. The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
  • SITCOM (sit-kahm) n. The condition of having a Single Income, Two Children, and an Oppressive Mortgage. (What Yuppies get into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.)
  • Stress Puppy (stres-puh-pee) n. A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
  • Swipeout (swaip-owt) n. An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because magnetic strip has been worn away from extensive use.
  • Xerox Subsidy (zee-rocks sub-suh-dee) np. Euphemism for sneaking free photocopies at the workplace.
  • Irritainment (ir-uh-tayn-ment) n. Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.
  • Percussive Maintenance (pur-kuh-shun mayt-nuns) n. Repairing an electronic appliance by giving it a good whack.
  • Adminisphere (aed-min-is-feer) n. The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
  • 404 (for-oh-for) n. Someone who's clueless. (From the browser message "404 Not Found" meaning that the requested site cannot be found.)
  • Generica (je-ne-ri-kuh) n. Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where you are: fast food joints, malls with the same stores, and downtown areas with more parking meters than people.
  • Ohnosecond (oh-no-se-kund) n. That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a big mistake, like accidentally sending a personal e-mail to everyone in the office.
  • Woofs (wuf) n. Well-Off Older Folks.
7 of the Top 10 Sniglets of 2008
  • Accelligator (ack-sell-a-gator) n. Someone who incessantly yaks on a cell phone while tailgating you. (Thank you, Erika Engle)
  • Cutterbugs (kut-ter-bug) n. Someone who cuts off other drivers, jumping from lane to lane like a bug. (Thank you, Erika Engle)
  • Pickparker (pik-park-er) n. Someone who steals a parking place you are about to pull into. (Thank you, Erika Engle)
  • Sneezure (snee-zhur) n. A fit of several sneezes in a row. (Thank you, LeRoy Vaughn)
  • Kidnapkinage(kid-næp-kin-ij) n. The act of purposefully taking more napkins than necessary at a fast-food restaurant. (Thank you, David Tresch)
  • Nagivator (næg-uh-vay-der) n. A spouse who sits beside the driver of a car and criticizes his or her driving more than helping with the navigation. (Thank you, Dr. Goodword)
  • Gription (grip-shun) n. Really excellent traction. (Thank you, Paula Gray)
Top 10 8 Sniglets of the 2007
  • Electile Dysfunction—The inability to become aroused by any of the candidates in an election (cf. the Republican primaries 2012).
  • Mouse Arrest— Forbidden the use of the computer.
  • Googlegänger— A person with your name who shows up when you google yourself. (American Dialect Society)
  • Kwanhanamas—Kwanza + Hanukkah + Christmas. Happy Kwanhanamas! is more personal while still as unidentifying as Happy Holidays! (American Dialect Society)
  • Earmarxist—A congressman or senator who adds earmarks to congressional bills. (American Dialect Society)
  • Quadriboobage—The appearance of having four bosoms caused by wearing a bra that is too small. (American Dialect Society)
  • Wrap-rage—Furious frustration from trying to open a newly purchased factory-sealed item. (American Dialect Society)
  • Carpool Tunnel Syndrome—When you are stuck in traffic with an unwanted passenger; this is what happens to your hands when you grip the steering wheel too hard and get tunnel vision. (Ish Talmadge).
  • (We need a few more. Do you know any? If so, please send them to us via the Contact Page.
Top 10 Sniglets of the 2006
  • Crackberry—For those addicted to their Blackberry this word works nicely.
  • Drainchild—Not all brainchildren work well so we need a word for a bright idea that drains resources without benefit.
  • Boomerangst—The anxiety of the baby boomers about their future as well as that of the government in providing for them are both wrapped up in this word which also leaves the impression that it is a problem that has returned to bite us.
  • Politicide— This word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) this year so is it still a sniglet? We learned this year that bribe-taking and philandery have become forms of politicide.
  • Politricks—This word, also added to the OED this year, is a good replacement for "political dirty tricks" of the Nixon years.
  • wingnut—We have left-wing nuts and right-wing nuts but what about extremists of both sides? Well, this word would work if we didn't already have extremist.
  • IMglish—We like this sniglet for the abbretiated language of instant messaging. IMing has already entered the language alongside IDing as an acronymic verb.
  • Keypal—So what do you call a pen pal if you never use a pen to write him (or her)? Well, if you use a keyboard, this one will work.
  • Moonbat—We really don't need another word for someone with bats in their belfry who bay at the moon but this one still has a nice ring about it.
  • Truthiness—This is actually a legitimate word to the extent truthy, like filmy, syrupy, would mean "like the truth", it could mean "similarity to the truth". We don't need it for Colbert's meaning, "gut feeling", however, since George Orwell's bellyfeel from Nineteen Eighty-Four covers any semantic space gut feeling doesn't. We only include it because of its media popularity.
More . . .


Rich Hall's Sniglets
  • Antalixic (ant-uh-licks-ik) adj. Someone who always passes over the licorice jellybeans.
  • Aquadextrous (ak-wa-deks-trus) adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub tap on and off with your toes.
  • Carperpetuation (kar-pur-pet-you-ay-shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
  • Cheedle (chee-dul) n. The orange residue left on your fingers when you eat cheese puffs.
  • Disconfect (dis-kon-fekt) v. To sterilize the piece of confection (lolly) you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow 'remove' all the germs.
  • Elbonics (el-bon-iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie theater.
  • Frust (frust) n. The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.
  • Lactomangulation (lak-to-man-gyu-lay-shun) n. Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk container so badly that one has to resort to the 'illegal' side.
  • Peppier (pep-yay) n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want fresh ground pepper.
  • Phonesia (fo-knee-zhuh) n. The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as they answer.
  • Pupkus (pup-kus) n. The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.
  • Sloovers (slew-vuhrz n. pl. Remnants of soap too small to use, but too big to throw away.
  • Telecrastination (tel-e-kras-tuh-nay-shun) n. The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you're only six inches away.
A Contribution from Susan Lister
  • zybetical (zai-bed-i-kul) Laurence Urdall, former editor of the Random House Dictionary, coined this one to refer to reverse alphabetical order: Z-Y-X . . . , as to stand in zybetical order.
Dr. Margie Sved's Sniglets
  • Nugatory (nug-uh-tor-ee) Where you go when you have done nothing of relevance, good or bad.
  • Batrachomyomasochist (buh-track-oh-my-oh-ma-suh-kissed) Someone foolish enough to try to say batrachomyomachy.
  • appelicious (ap-pul-li-shus) Tasting as delicious as an apple.
  • prophesayer (prah-fi-say-er) Someone who forsees whether a soothsayer's phrophesies will be true.
  • superficious (sue-per-fish-us) Superficially officious or superficial and officious.
  • bartractual (bar-track-chew-ul) Pertaining to a contract that involves bartering.
  • neosapiens (knee-oh-say-pee-ins) A life form very nearly human whether on Star Trek or not.
  • obstropulous (ab-strop-you-lus) Seeming to be helpful while really making things more difficult.
  • hypocracy (hi-pock-ruh-see) A political system controlled by.
Washington Post's Annual Style Invitational
  • The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition. Here are the winners:
  • Arachnoleptic fit n. The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  • Beelzebug n. Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  • Bozone n.: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  • Cashtration n. The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  • Caterpallor n. The colour you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.
  • Decafalon n. The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  • Foreploy n. Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  • Giraffiti: n. Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  • Glibido n. All talk and no action.
  • Hipatitis: n. Terminal coolness.
  • Ignoranus n. A person who's both stupid and an a--hole.
  • Inoculatte: n. To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  • Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
  • Karmageddon n. It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  • Osteopornosis: n. A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  • Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  • Sarchasm: n. The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.